Decorated track legend has priceless memorabilia stolen from Dallas storage unit

A Dallas native and track and field legend who held one record for 32 years had all of his honors stolen from a Public Storage facility last week.

Roy "Robot" Martin's history began at Roosevelt High School with coach Ed James, winning state three years in a row.

"My senior year, I set the national record. Ran the 19.74 in the 200 meters. And that stood for 33 years until Noah Lyles broke it in 2014. And then my biggest accomplishment was when I made the Olympic team as a junior in high school, the only one in history who can say that," he said. "I earned all that. Everything I accomplished, I earned it. And that was my history. Now, my history is gone,"

Martin participated in the Olympics in 1983. He kept running at SMU, winning both NCAA indoor and outdoor championships the same year.

Martin returned to the Olympics in 1988. He’s been inducted into four sports halls of fame, including Dallas ISD in 2019.

Martin's history was being stored in a Dallas public storage unit off Highway 75.

"They've been having some break-ins. This time when they hit my storage, they took everything," he said. "All my clothes. All my memorabilia. Everything that I made history that I was going to give to my grandkids to let them enjoy, somebody just took it."

At least three units have been broken into, including Martin's burglarized last week.

Martin says he’s been keeping his awards in a storage unit due to a lack of room.

"At the time, I lived around the corner. And I put my stuff in here. And where I moved to, it was just not enough room to keep everything. So I felt safe because it's on the inside of a secured facility," he said.

Martin says the burglary has left him feeling sick. 

"Your stomach turns. Your gut hurts," he said. "And it's like why me? I mean, what’s the purpose of it?"

A history Martin can't repeat and can't replace, but he prays it will be returned.

"Please bring it back. No questions asked. Just bring it back, and all is forgiven," he said. "It means the world to me. That's my legacy. That's my history. If I want to tell my story, it was in that storage right there."


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